Qumsieh: Jordanian banks today have great opportunities to enhance financial inclusion in the Kingdom
Capital Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ala Qumsieh highlighted that the banking sector today has great opportunities to enhance financial inclusion in the Kingdom, as banks have enormous data on customer behavior that is not available to small start-up companies.
"The banks will be able to drive economic growth if this data is used properly, with predictive analytics and data driven marketing that will significantly contribute to more accurate financial decisions." Qumsieh said during his participation at the Jordan Digital Transformation Forum (JoDT Forum 2019), organized by INTAJ, the ICT Association of Jordan.
Capital Bank sponsored the Forum, held under the patronage of HE Dr. Ziad Fariz, Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan, reaffirming its belief in the important role banks play in the development of financial technology (FinTech), which represents the future of the banking industry.
Qumsieh added that the number of adults using the banking sector in Jordan is less than 35%, whilst the mobile penetration rate exceeds 100%. The Central Bank of Jordan has played a prominent role in achieving financial inclusion through the adoption of retail payment systems and electronic payments such as cash transfers, as well as innovative identity solutions. These measures help to include vulnerable segments of society such as rural populations, women and forcibly displaced persons; and to develop legal frameworks that support e-transactions, which means that opportunities are high for the banking sector to integrate innovative FinTech solutions to bridge the financial inclusion gap.
Despite these opportunities, Qumsieh explained that, “prior to 2017, banks in Jordan have collectively spent less than 1% on technology, whereas global percentages have reached 6%, according to a recent McKenzie report. ” Qumsieh clarified that the banks after this date began to recognize the importance of their role in leading the digital transformation, as many of the major banks in Jordan began to invest heavily to develop their digital platforms, in a bid to support the efforts of the Kingdom to enhance its competitiveness through reaping the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
On peer-to-peer lending and its impact on the traditional banking industry, Qumsieh said: "The peer-to-peer lending industry, which allows startups to access finance without having to deal with banks, has been remarkably prosperous, yet the size of the industry is still very small compared to commercial loans and the volume of transactions with conventional banks in general", stressing the importance of regulating this type of industry and adopting guidelines as a way to regulate lenders and their behavior.
With regard to the role of Capital Bank in supporting the FinTech industry, Qumsieh said that the Bank is taking this new financial revolution seriously and is heading towards a digital transformation journey aimed at providing its clients with the best financial solutions in the local market, and which keeps up with the FinTech revolution by meeting the expectations of customers from both the institutional and retail sectors.
Qumsieh further stated: “We are working at Capital Bank on new FinTech initiatives for 2019 and we will announce them in the coming months”.
According to Qumsieh, Capital Bank, through its majority ownership of the National Bank of Iraq (NBI), has contributed to enhancing financial inclusion in the Iraqi market by signing contracts with more than 20 Iraqi ministries and departments, which means 8,000 salaries transferred to the Bank with a plan to double this number in the next three years. NBI is also investing in modernizing its e-channels network to enable its customers to access the Bank's various products and services in the most efficient and convenient manner.